Page 4, 14th March 2003

14th March 2003
Page 4
Page 4, 14th March 2003 — Asia

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Locations: Seoul, Pyongyang


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North Koreans venture south FOR THE first time in half a century, North Korea's Catholics ventured south of the border for an official Mass in celebration of their faith, reports Aid to the Church in Need.

Samuel Chang Jae-on, president of the Korean Roman Catholics' Association in North Korea, joined more than a dozen Catholics of Changchung church in Pyongyang, the communist country's capital, at the service last Sunday at Seoul's Myongdong Cathedral.

Mr Chang remarked before the Mass began that "though Catholics of Changchung church have been without a priest, they have strong faith". The North Korean visitors were seen bowing their heads after receiving Holy Communion from Auxiliary Bishop Luke Kim Woon-hoe of Seoul, who presided over the Mass.

Fr Paul Han Jung-kwan, executive secretary of the South Korean bishops' committee for the reconciliation of Korean people, said: "It is important that North Korean Catholics have joined us more than 50 years since our country was divided."

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